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Census Bureau Adds Top-Level Political Posts, Raising Fears for 2020 Count

Critics fear that the census, which is used to apportion federal dollars and political representation, has become increasingly politicized.

Mr. Korzeniewski earned a bachelor’s...

Mr. Korzeniewski earned a bachelor’s degree in statistics and computer science in 2017 from Columbia University, according to the LinkedIn page, which appears to have been taken down. Before then, according to the profile, Mr. Korzeniewski spent five years in the Marines, including a stretch in Afghanistan.

The two men have been working since April as advisers to a deputy of Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr., who oversees the Census Bureau. The news release said they would “help the bureau achieve a complete and accurate 2020 census and study future improvements” in technology and data collection.

“The importance of more and better data for decision making will continue as the heart of the Census Bureau mission,” the release stated.

The announcement quickly drew sharp criticism from outside experts and groups that have been pressing for a complete and nonpartisan census. And it comes on the heels of recent White House moves to fire the heads of two other traditionally nonpartisan federal agencies — the Post Office[1] and Voice of America[2] — and replace them with Trump loyalists.

A veteran private consultant on census issues for business and nonprofit groups, Terri Ann Lowenthal, called the Census Bureau appointments “deeply disturbing.”

“Their proximity to the director and lack of relevant expertise suggest a thinly veiled effort to interfere in the implementation and outcome of the 2020 census for the administration’s benefit,” said Ms. Lowenthal, who oversaw a review of federal statistical operations for President Barack Obama’s 2008 transition team. “It’s hard to draw any other conclusion.”

Representative Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, the Democratic chair of a House committee overseeing the bureau, called the appointees “political operatives” chosen by the Trump administration and accused officials of “using the census for political gain.”

References

  1. ^ the Post Office (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ Voice of America (www.nytimes.com)

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2020-07-07

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